The first two photos taken November 7, 2023. The rest taken November 8, 2023.
One of the things that really became apparent during my New York trip midway through October was how little time I had to myself on a convention trip these days. When I think of New York Comic Con, I tend to think of two things: firstly, going with Chloe, which didn’t happen this time because she was recovering from a migraine that knocked her out for more than a week. Secondly, and more importantly for the purpose of this post: having the time to go wander ’round the city after each day, before heading back to the hotel to file a story or maybe two.
Really, I think back to the days when I’d be covering the show for THR, and I got to decide what was and wasn’t a good story. Sure, I’d check in with Aaron back in LA, and he’d let me know if there was something he really wanted that might not have been on my radar, but otherwise, I’d be there under my own auspices and would have the brain space that came with that afterwards.
That wasn’t the case this year, where circumstances combined to give me more than enough to think about, and more than enough to keep me busy to the point where I only truly existed in two places during the trip: the convention center, and my hotel room, where I was either writing or failing to sleep. It was a rough trip, and I felt particularly burned out when it was over.
Just over a week later, I was in London for another show, and I had pretty much the same experience for the three days of that convention, too; it’s not that I had too much to do, per se, as much as I had just enough to do that meant that I was pretty constantly working for the entire time I was awake, even if said work was occasionally monitoring livestreams or having meetings. My brain was pretty consistently “on,” which paired with jetlag to leave me pretty intellectually and emotionally wiped out by the time the show finished. When I think back to the show — which just happened last week! — I pretty much can’t remember chunks of it because I was just reacting to whatever needed to be done at that particular moment. The show happened to me, if that makes sense.
(To a lesser extent, I think I’d say the same about the New York show.)
I’m saying this not to be all, “woe is me”; I actually love my job, even when I don’t necessarily like my job. (It is, after all, a job.) I’m aware of the opportunities I’m provided, and grateful for them, even as I can be aware of the ways in which I need to do better — and those in charge need to do better — to avoid burnout and overwhelming myself with everything. I’m saying all of this to lay the context for the image at the top of this post.
It’s nothing special, of course. It’s a picture I took while going for an aimless walk on the morning I left London, when I found myself with a couple of hours and, for the first time in… maybe a week and a half(?) , had nothing to do. I went for a short walk, with no intent other than to enjoy the calm and some fresh air. I had no agenda, and it was relatively sunny, and I felt… free. I did the same thing the morning after I arrived in Scotland, a handful of days later: just walked, with no agenda, to see what happened.
I need to make more time like that for myself in the future. Trips are better when I feel part of where I am, beyond simply seeing a convention center and a hotel room.
There’s something to be said for sunrises in fall here in Portland. This is what it looks like out of my window before I get up in the morning; I genuinely feel lucky to see this kind of thing, and also to wake up early enough that I get to see the sun rise each morning. (To be fair, up until last weekend, it happened after 7am and who isn’t awake by then?)
It’s the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2019. (Well, it’ll soon be Preview Night, technically; but that’s the first day, really.) As you read this, I’ll be in the air on the way to the show itself, but I thought I’d share this piece of Comic-Con ephemera — me on Preview Night 2008, looking every bit of the excitable nerd that I was back in the day. (Look at that smile.) I’m pretty sure this is the first year that I covered the show as press.
Recently rescued from what, I assume, is now a dead and gone Flickr account, this is Lunacat. (“Luna,” for short; it was, as you might imagine, her full name to begin with, but then “Lunacat” took root and replaced it.) She was a stray who followed us home in San Francisco, years and years and years ago — it was close to 15 years ago, if not more — and ended up living with us all the way until her death, after Portland had become home.
She had cancer, in the end. In fact, these photos are from her surgery to remove a tumor, when she was given six months or so to live. (That’s why she’s been shaved so oddly; it’s where the surgery had taken place, and also on her leg, where the IV had been put in. It’s also why her neck is so big; it was a side effect from the anesthetic.) She survived for years after that, too stubborn to give up, and too filled with love to say goodbye.
Losing her was, still, one of the saddest periods of my life, and I still miss her all the time. Pets become part of us in a way that few people do, perhaps.
All photos taken within a year or so of moving to Portland. I became interested in colors and lines, apparently.
(I’m not sure when or why I stopped taking photos like these; I don’t have any after 2010, but I’m unsure if that’s because I stopped taking them, or I stopped keeping them. Either way, it’s a habit I wish I hadn’t gotten out of. I like these investigations of my environments.)